In today’s business, social purpose is no longer optional
(Above) As a purpose-driven organization and recognized leader in social capitalism, TELUS is diversifying into business verticals within healthcare and agriculture, using technology to improve the flow of information, ultimately leading to better outcomes for people around the world.
It was writer Joseph Campbell who first shared with us the framework behind the world’s most empowering stories. It starts with a character who sets out on a quest. Throw in a few obstacles for our hero to overcome and, voilà, we are all transformed by the experience.
We know this structure as the Hero’s Journey, and what could be more apt in today’s troubled world?
The pandemic has made us eager for heroes, and we’ve found them in our nurses and doctors, frontline staff at the grocery store, teachers and scientists.
But our difficulties haven’t ended with the lifting of restrictions. Far from it. Our communities continue to struggle under mounting financial and social pressures. Broader global issues are only compounding these day-to-day stressors, from the frightening force of climate change to supply-chain disruptions, spiraling inflation and geopolitical conflict.
Now, more than ever, we are in need of courageous leadership, and, this time, companies have a critical role to play in navigating the way forward.
After three tumultuous years, we are seeing trust in the media and government dip to all-time lows. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for corporate leadership to step in to help solve our biggest social challenges.
Simply put, having a social purpose is no longer optional, it’s a license to operate. Far from being just an act of goodwill, there are strong strategic and economic benefits as well. It’s a company’s new north star, key differentiator and the foundation for making capital spending and product development decisions. Moreover, research shows that when a company has a strong purpose, people are four times more likely to continue doing business with and to trust the company, and almost five times more likely to recommend the company to their friends and family.
Critically, it can not just be a flash-in-the-pan reaction to current circumstances. It starts by embracing a business model driven by purpose. By pooling our resources and expertise, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create significant positive change in our communities, our country, and the world.
TELUS has been undertaking this journey for more than two decades. We are proud of our roots as a Canadian telco, but today we are so much more and we’re calling on businesses of all shapes and sizes to join us in our mission to make the world a better place.
As a purpose-driven organization and recognized leader in social capitalism, we believe that businesses have a responsibility to take accountability for the social health and well-being of our communities. In our journey at TELUS, we focus on connectivity to enable equal access to technology for all in our digital society.
Our TELUS Connecting for Good programs help to ensure subsidized access to high-speed internet and wireless connectivity for low-income families, individuals, seniors, people with disabilities, youth exiting foster care and Indigenous women at risk of experiencing violence.
We use our technology to provide efficient and effective solutions that improve the lives of all Canadians, continually pushing to bridge digital divides and ensure everyone has the means to connect to the vital resources, tools and people that matter most. We are also diversifying into business verticals within healthcare and agriculture, using technology to improve the flow of information, ultimately leading to better outcomes for people around the world.
This transformation is vital to our continued success. Our purpose keeps us laser-focused on creating impact in five key areas: enabling human connections, revolutionizing healthcare, giving back to our communities, transforming our food system and leading in sustainability.
How are we delivering on our social purpose? We launched the $100M TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, supporting women-led businesses, as well as Indigenous and racialized entrepreneurs. As Canada’s largest healthcare IT company, we’ve connected 20 million Canadians to electronic medical records, virtual care and online benefits management and, as one of the world's largest agriculture tech companies, we're transforming the food system to reduce waste and improve safety, quality and sustainability. All the while, we are on track to become 100 per cent carbon neutral for our operations by 2030, or sooner, and procure all of our electricity requirements from renewable or low-emitting sources by 2025.
Our quest is far from over, however, and we’re set on ensuring that our most vulnerable are not left behind.
Our TELUS Connecting for Good programs help to ensure subsidized access to high-speed internet and wireless connectivity for low-income families, individuals, seniors, people with disabilities, youth exiting foster care and Indigenous women at risk of experiencing violence, while our Health for Good mobile clinics deliver critical primary and mental health care to those experiencing homelessness.
In 2021, TELUS provided $90 million in contributions, representing five per cent of our pre-tax profits, and our team members and retirees volunteered 1.3 million hours to more than 4,000 charities and community organizations – more than any other company in Canada. In fact, since 2000, TELUS has led with purpose, gifting $1.4 billion, including $900 million and 1.8 million days of volunteerism.
In our hectic world, businesses that embrace this social vision and take action will share in the rewards of their efforts. This work has significantly elevated our corporate reputation and is driving significant competitive advantage. Recently, TELUS was recognized as the most respected mobile service provider and most trusted telecom brand in Canada. Our financial performance is consistently characterized by robust, high-quality and profitable customer growth, alongside strong financial results. This year our brand valuation grew to $10.1B, leading the industry and falling within the top eight Canadian brands.
So, what are you waiting for? What’s your purpose? The time to act is now.
We all have the power to write an epic story of transformation that will be told for generations to come. Let’s do it. Let’s make the future friendly, together.
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